Ufuq-i Dānish (Apr 2018)

The Effectiveness of Compassion-Focused Therapy on Mental Health of Women with Multiple Sclerosis

  • A. Salimi,
  • F. Arsalandeh,
  • K. Zahrakar,
  • R. Davarniya,
  • M. Shakarami

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 24, no. 02
pp. 125 – 131


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Aims: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive and chronic disease of central nervous system with different symptoms and physical-psychological disabling effects, which brings about various problems for the patient. The present study was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of compassion-focused therapy (CFT) on mental health of women with multiple sclerosis. Materials & Methods: The present research was a semi-empirical intervention conducted by pretest-posttest with control group design. The research population included all the women with active case file in MS association of Tehran in 2016. The sample was composed of 30 female patients which were selected by available sampling method and based on exclusion and inclusion criteria of the study and their scores in the questionnaire. The sample were assigned into experimental and control groups (15 individuals per group) by random assignment method. The study tool was general health questionnaire (GHQ) of Goldberg and Hiller (1979). After conducting the pretest for both groups, subjects of the experimental group received eight weekly 2-hour sessions of CFT in a group format. The control group was put in the waiting list. The data were analyzed through univariate covariance analysis (ANCOVA) in SPSS v18. Findings: Results indicated that, after the posttest, there was a significant difference between mean scores of mental health among experimental and control groups. In other words, CFT led to increased mental health in subjects of the intervention group compared to the control group (p<0.01, F=45.49). Conclusion: According to the results of the present study, the compassion-focused therapy reduces psychological problems and improves mental health of patients with multiple sclerosis through increasing their internal awareness, non-judgmental acceptance, empathy, and consistent attention to internal emotions. It is recommended that MS associations across Iran would use this therapeutic method for enhancing psychological health of patients.